cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngRussia’s Air Force supports Daesh against Syrian Liberation Fighters

Another instructive episode how Russian imperialism helps Daesh/ISIS to attack the Liberation Forces in the North of Syria

 

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23.10.2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

In recent days we experienced another highly instructive episode demonstrating the true nature of Russian imperialism and its priorities in its military intervention in Syria.

 

As we reported two weeks ago, the Syrian Army – with approval by their Russian masters – let a huge and heavily armed column of Daesh/ISIS fighters pass through its controlled areas in order to attack the largest region which is still liberated by the Syrian revolutionaries. (1)

 

This counterrevolutionary attack took place in a crucial moment. At that time Syrian liberation fighters – mostly led by Hayyat Tharir al-Sham (HTS) – successfully advanced in the area around Abu Dali in the north of Hama against Assad’s terrorist army. At the same time the Turkish Army – with the support of Russian as well as US imperialism – started its invasion in Idlib in order to subjugate the region. (2) This area in the north of the country – encompassing the province Idlib as well as West Aleppo and North Hama – is not only the largest area under the control of the liberation fighters.

 

This area is furthermore mostly controlled by the petty-bourgeois nationalist-Islamist HTS which is the largest and best organized force of the resistance and the main faction which denounces the reactionary Astana deal. This deal – agreed by Russia, Iran, Turkey, Assad and various treacherous factions of the resistance and tacitly approved by Washington – aims to pacify the civil war, to liquidate the Syrian Revolution and to divide the country in different spheres of influence of the regime and the Great Powers. (3)

 

This attack of several hundred Daesh/ISIS fighters against the Syrian revolutionary forces in north east Hama forced HTS to effectively stop its offensive in the Abu Dali area and to relocate its troops so that it could push back the Daesh intruders.

 

Fortunately HTS elite units (“Inghimasi”) are making constant progress and liberate one village after the other from the counterrevolutionary Daesh forces. It is to be hoped that they will soon finish them off.

 

As we already noted in the past it is obvious that the counterrevolutionary attack of Daesh took place with the support of Assad’s army and its Russian master as the Daesh aggressors marched dozens of kilometers of open field though areas controlled by the regime without being attacked by them a single time! (4)

 

Now, as the Syrian liberation fighters are advancing against Daesh and the latter are close to defeat, the Russian Air Force accelerates its attacks on exactly those HTS forces which are actually fighting against Daesh! (5) As currently the only ongoing battle in this region is the one between HTS and Daesh, the meaning of massive Russian airstrikes against HTS forces is clear: compared with Daesh, Putin considers HTS and other Syrian liberation forces as a lesser evil.

 

This confirms once more the sinister collusion of Russian imperialism and Daesh and their common hatred against the Syrian Revolution. Naturally, one must not forget a sense of proportion. Daesh represents a sadistic mafia capo while imperialist Russia – one of the main Great Powers beside the US, China and the EU – rather represents Al Capone who has already slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrians.

 

True, the regime’s forces, with the support of the Russian Air Force, are currently smashing Daesh – together with US imperialism and its SDF/YPG foot soldiers – in the east of the country as the latter constitutes an obstacle to the colonialist plans of the Great Powers. However, when it sees a chance to utilize Daesh in the struggle against its main enemy – the ongoing liberation struggle of the Syrian people – Assad and Putin are ready to support Daesh without hesitation.

 

This small episode of the ongoing civil war in Syria demonstrates very well the thoroughly counterrevolutionary character of the imperialist Putin regime as well as of Daesh. Shame on those so-called leftists who praise Assad and Putin as “progressive” forces! Shame on those who have deserted the ongoing liberation struggle of the Syrian people against Assad, against the Great Powers and against their joint sinister conspiracy in Astana!

 

Long live the Syrian Revolution!

 

Defend free Idlib against Assad, Putin, Erdoğan and Daesh!

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) Michael Pröbsting: Syria: A Very Instructive Episode. Counterrevolutionary ISIS/Daesh collaborates with Assad’s Army (as well as Erdoğan and Putin) in Attacking the Syrian Liberation Fighters in Idlib, 10.10.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/a-very-instructive-episode-in-syria/

 

(2) Michael Pröbsting: Syria: The Turkish-Russian Invasion against Idlib has begun! All out to defend the Syrian Revolution against the Astana Conspirators! For an anti-Assad, anti-imperialist and anti-capitulationist united front, 07.10.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/the-turkish-russian-invasion-against-idlib-has-begun/. A second motive of this invasion is Erdoğan’s desire to encircle the area around Afrin which is controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia.

 

(3) On the RCIT’s assessment of the Astana deal see: Michael Pröbsting: Syrian Revolution: The Moment of Truth is Approaching! Rally to defend the Syrian Revolution against the Imperialist conspiracy called the “Astana Deal”! 20.09.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-moment-of-truth-approaching/; RCIT: Syria: Defend Idlib against the Great Powers! Down with the reactionary Astana Deal! Defend the Revolution against the butcher Assad, against Russian and US Imperialism and the local Allies! Victory to the Struggle of the Workers and Oppressed! 04.08.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/defend-idlib-against-great-powers/; Michael Pröbsting: Syria: The Astana-Deal Struggle Intensifies. Some Notes on Recent Developments in the Syrian Civil War and the Dangers for the Liberation Struggle, 28 July 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syrian-revolution-28-7-2017/; RCIT: Syria: Condemn the Reactionary Astana Deal! The so-called “De-Escalation Zones” are a First Step towards the Partition of Syria and a Conspiracy by the Great Powers to Defeat the Revolution, 7 May 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/astana-deal/

 

(4) Our article “Syria: A Very Instructive Episode” contains a number of sources about this latest attack of Daesh against the Syrian revolutionaries.

 

(5) See on this e.g. https://twitter.com/QalaatAlMudiq/status/922065096989446145, https://twitter.com/milietweet/status/920733544573530115, https://twitter.com/abdullahazzam34/status/922021856785391616

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

For the RCIT’s analysis of the Syrian Revolution, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents which can be accessed at a special section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngThe Road to Red October: Chapter 1. When women set Russia ablaze

 

 

 

In February 1917 (old-style calendar) women workers from the proletarian Vyborg district of Petrograd marched out of their factories demanding “Bread!” Five days later the workers and soldiers had led an insurrection which forced the Tsar to abdicate. The Petrograd women workers’ celebration of International Women’s Day had unleashed the February Revolution.

 

International Women’s Day was first adopted as a holiday for proletarian women by the leaders of the Second International’s Socialist Women’s Movement. Clara Zetkin proposed to the International Women’s meeting in 1910 that a day be declared for proletarian women, similar to the May Day workers’ holiday. The date eventually agreed was 8 March (new-style calendar) – commemorating a day on which thousands of women workers in New York had demonstrated against appalling conditions women workers endured in the needle industry.

 

The holiday was taken up in Russia from 1913 onwards. Because of the old calendar in pre-revolutionary Russia the equivalent date was 23 February. In 1913 planned demonstrations were cracked down on by the police and only leaflets and papers were issued in the end. The Bolsheviks, under the instigation of Konkordiya Samoilova and Inessa Annand, produced several articles in their paper Pravda in the weeks before 23 February culminating in a special issue to celebrate the day itself. The articles outlined the reality of life for working women in Russia and argued the need for them to be organised alongside men in fighting organisations of the class.

 

The response from working women to these Pravda articles was so overwhelming that there was not enough room in the paper for all the letters received. This prompted Samoilova to urge the exiled Lenin and Krupskaya to produce a special paper directed at working class women. Inessa Annand, who herself had been arrested and had fled to exile, was instrumental in persuading them to agree to this idea. Krupskaya raised it on the exiled Bolshevik Central Committee which agreed to the production of Rabotnitsa (Woman Worker) with the launch to be around International Women’s Day 1914.

 

These developments within the Bolshevik Party occurred in response to a renewed wave of militant class struggle in Russia between 1912 and 1914. Women workers were an increasingly important force in the Russian working class. After the 1905 Revolution the employers deliberately recruited women in preference to men in many industries. As the bosses’ own factory inspectorate noted in 1907:

 

“The reasons for this [recruitment of women] are as before: their greater industry, attentiveness and abstinence (they do not drink or smoke), their compliance and greater reasonableness m respect of pay.”

 

By 1914 women made up 25.7% of the industrial workforce in Russia and were becoming increasingly militant, making all political groups take notice of them. The bourgeois feminists, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks all made special efforts to organise working women in this period.

 

Foundations for the future

 

Despite all but one woman on the editorial board in Russia being arrested, Rabotnitsa was produced for 23 February. It quickly sold out as did the other five issues which were distributed. It was widely read in the factories and groups of women organised around it, many joining the party as a result. The outbreak of war in August halted the production of Rabotnitsa but the foundations laid then made future work by the Bolsheviks among women workers much easier to establish. The mobilisation of soldiers and production for the war effort led to enormous deprivation in the cities and villages of Russia.

 

As early as April 1915 there were riots by women demanding bread, and these continued sporadically right through to 1917. The specific role of women workers in the February revolution occurred because of the very acute way the war had affected them. Between 1914 and 1917 the number of women employed in the factories increased still further because of the conscription of men to the front line. In the country as a whole the percentage of women increased from 26.6% to 43.2%. These women workers were, on the whole, new to the cities and the working class. In Petrograd itself the number of women working in factories doubled, rising by 68,000 during the war to 129,800.

 

There were thousands of women workers concentrated in large factories-up to 10,000 women in one plant – with less than three years experience by 1917. Often their husbands, sons and brothers had been conscripted for the war. Minimal food rations were available only by queuing for up to four hours a day – sometimes even then the food ran out. Women earned about half the wages of men. They were concentrated in the textile and chemical industries, where hours were long and conditions poor. In addition they often suffered physical and sexual harassment from the bosses and their lackey foremen.

 

The intensity of the oppression of these women led to explosive rebellions. In general the strikes involving predominantly women workers had economic aims, whereas by late 1916 more of the strikes in the male dominated engineering and metalworking industries were for political ends. This reflected the longer tradition of organisation of the male workers, some with Bolshevik and Menshevik organisers long established within their ranks.

 

Women’s Day celebrations

 

By February 1917 the class struggle was intensifying. But although there were many strikes in Petrograd during January and February, none of them sparked the whole city in the way the women were to do. In preparation for the Women’s Day celebrations Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and the Mezhraiontsy group (an inter-district group of socialists committed to neither the Bolsheviks nor the Mensheviks) planned propaganda and educational meetings for the day.

 

In the Vyborg district on 20 February some workers called for a strike, but all the socialist organisations argued that the class was not ready for a mass strike because of inadequate political preparation or contact with the soldiers. V Kayurav, a local Bolshevik leader, met representatives from women workers on the eve of Women’s Day and urged them to “. . . Act exclusively according to the instruction of the party committee.”

 

The action was intended to be limited to factory meetings in order to make propaganda. The socialist groups all underestimated the mood of the women workers in the factories. However the lack of control by the political leaders over these women did not mean that the action was totally unprepared as some Bolsheviks seemed to think. One account of the lead up to the strikes records that:

 

“The largely female staff of the Vasilesky Island trolley park, sensing general unrest a few days before 23 February, sent a woman to the neighbouring encampment of the l50th Infantry Regiment to ask the soldiers whether they would shoot at them or not. The answer was no, and on the 23rd, the trolley-car workers joined the demonstration.”

 

On the morning of the 23rd several illegal meetings were held in textile factories in the Vyborg district around the theme “War, high prices and the situation of the woman worker!” Anger boiled over at these meetings. One by one they voted to strike, but did not leave their protest at that. Taking to the streets in their thousands, the women marched to nearby factories, shouting for the workers, women and men to join them. The flying picket was dramatically effective. By 10.00am ten factories were shut with 27,000 workers on strike. By noon it was 21 plants with 50,000 strikers! Many accounts report the women entering factories, banging on the gates, throwing snowballs at windows to get workers out. It seems that where factories did not immediately respond to the call to join the action, more direct methods were used. Flying rocks and pieces of iron were persuasively used at some plants. In the Vyborg district there were 59,800 men and women on strike by the end of the day – 61 % of all the factory workers.

 

Rank and file Bolsheviks played a leading role in pulling plants out alongside the women workers, but many of the leaders were far more reluctant. The Vyborg leader Kayurov wrote later:

 

“. . . to my surprise and indignation . . . we learned . . . of the strike in some textile factories and of the arrival of a number of delegates from the women workers who announced [that they were going on strike]. Iwas extremely indignant about the behaviour of the strikers, both because they had blatantly ignored the decision of the district committee of the party, and also because they had gone on strike after Ihad appealed to them only the night before to keep cool and disciplined.”

 

Despite such indignation the Bolsheviks were able to quickly overcome these feelings and seize the opportunity offered to them. Agreeing to build the strike they gave political leadership by raising the slogans “Down with the autocracy! Down with the war! Give us bread!”

 

In other districts of the city strikes that day were less extensive, but no less militant. Over the whole city between 20 and 30% of the workers struck, with over 80 factories shut. The demonstrators from the Vyborg district were determined to reach the governmental centre of Petrograd, but the police blocked their way at one of the bridges. Eventually the demonstrators began crossing the ice of the frozen River Neva. However the police still managed to contain them, albeit with difficulty. Apolice report of the day explained:

 

“At 4.40pm crowds of approximately 1,000 people, predominantly women and youths, approached Kazan Bridge on the Nevskii Prospekt from the direction of Mikhailovskaia Street, singing and shouting ‘give us bread!’”

 

Angerand desperation

 

The demonstrations were not confined to those who went on strike – women queuing for bread quickly joined in the action. One manager reported coming out from his bakery shop to announce that there was no more bread:

 

“No sooner had this announcement been made than the crowd smashed the windows, broke into the store and knocked down everything in sight.”

 

Such acts were widespread, reflecting the anger and desperation, mainly of women and youths. The Bolsheviks argued against “vandalism” and tried to direct the protests by organising meetings and by calling for a three day general strike plus intensified propaganda towards soldiers.

 

In the following days the number of workers on strike increased steadily. The government sent police and troops in to disperse the demonstrators by any means necessary, but the revolutionary wave was able to meet this challenge by winning Cossacks over and eventually whole regiments joined the insurgents. Workers were arming themselves in their militia, and it was women workers who played a vital role in breaking the troops from the regime. As Trotsky’s account reveals:

 

“Agreat role is played by women workers in the relation between workers and soldiers. They go up to the cordons more boldly than men, take hold of the rifles, beseech, almost command: ‘Put down your bayonets-join us!’ The soldiers are excited, ashamed, exchange anxious glances, waver; someone makes up his mind first, and the bayonets rise guiltily above the shoulders of the advancing crowd. The barrier is opened; a joyous ‘Hurrah!’ shakes the air.

 

The soldiers are surrounded. Everywhere arguments, reproaches, appeals – the revolution makes another forward step.”

 

The mass strike eventually won to its side the vast numbers of peasants-in-uniform, the soldiers. Exhausted by the deprivation caused by the war, sickened by its carnage, these soldiers were eager for change. The action of the working class ignited their rebellion and made the fall of the autocracy inevitable. Without its military power the mighty Romanov dynasty could not last a minute. The Tsar’s wife expressed the arrogant short-sightedness of the autocracy when she wrote to her husband:

 

“This is a hooligan movement, young people run and shout that there is no bread, simply to create excitement, along with workers who prevent others from working. If the weather were very cold they would probably stay at home. But all this will pass and become calm, if only the Duma will behave itself.”

 

The regime falls

 

These words, expressing hope that events would be settled by the weather and the tame parliamentarians of the Duma (its Bolshevik deputies were in prison or exile), were forced down the throat of the pampered Tsarina by the actions of the masses, by the revolution. Within the borders of the Russian empire modern capitalism coincided with a peasant economy that was staggering in its backwardness, and meant misery for some hundred million peasants and their families.

 

The combination of a land starved peasantry and a highly concentrated urban working class (some four million strong) obliged the autocracy to maintain a vicious political dictatorship. Only thus could the rule of the landlords and the interests of capital be guaranteed. But the existence of the autocracy merely intensified the contradictions of Russia’s combined and profoundly uneven social development. The war exacerbated those contradictions to the limit. When they exploded, the seemingly all-powerful Tsarist regime fell in only a matter of days. As Trotsky and Lenin both observed, the chain of world capitalism had broken at its weakest link.

 

The development of the revolution and the abdication of the Tsar opened up a whole new period for the Russian working class. The Provisional Government that emerged from the February Revolution was staffed by bourgeois politicians and in an unstable position, balanced as it was alongside the organs of a different kind of power, the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Within the factories workers were emboldened – the factory committees sprang up, control was demanded over pay and conditions. The workers’ militia conflicted with the weaker civil militias of the government.

 

Women workers continued to play an important role. They were among the most determined to win an eight hour day. They sought decent wages and supported demands for equal political rights including suffrage. Indeed the first major strike against the Provisional Government was of 3,000 women laundry workers who struck for the eight hour day, living wages and municipalisation of the laundries. The strike, in May 1917, lasted six weeks and Kollontai was sent in by the Bolsheviks to work alongside the women. The Bolsheviks had quickly responded to the militancy of women in 1917 and set up a Women’s Bureau led by Vera Slutskaya. This relaunched Rabotnitsa and built up support in the factories and among soldiers’ wives, and led large demonstrations against the war.

 

The role of women workers in the Russian Revolution was magnificent, and taught the revolutionary leadership much. But their very spontaneity meant that they were not always in the revolutionary vanguard throughout 1917.”

 

They struck, demonstrated and rioted because of the intensity of the oppression, but this also reflected their lack of organisation, their newness to political and trade union activities. This is often true of working class women. Their role within the workforce as a “peripheral” element, poorly paid, shifted in and out of work depending on the fortunes and needs of capitalism, leads to them being generally poorly organised in unions and political parties. Even where membership of unions is high, women are rarely active in the leadership because of their oppression, which denies them time, due to domestic commitments, and obstruction by male leaders.

 

This lack of traditional organisation has contradictory results – on the one hand women can be, as the February Revolution shows, the most militant fighters because they are unfettered by the conservatism which can so often take root inside the union organisations. But on the other hand it makes women easy targets for propaganda which may be anti-working class. In the weeks after the February Revolution thousands of working class women were mobilised by liberal bourgeois feminists to demonstrate for women’s suffrage and continuation of the war! The Bolsheviks were able to establish a mass base among women by mid-1917 which led them once again to demonstrate against the war, but this took special efforts at organisation and propaganda.

 

The lessons we can learn from the Bolsheviks and working women in this period are rich indeed. The revolution, as Lenin was to point out years later, would never have succeeded without the mobilisation of the women. Revolutionaries must never underestimate the centrality of relating to women workers. Special forms of propaganda and organisation are needed to win them to the side of the revolutionary party, but once won, they will be the most brave and militant fighters for they have so much to gain!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngInterview: “Ghana’s Leaders are all Puppets of the IMF, World Bank and other imperialist organisation”

 

 

Below we publish an interview with Yabaaba Mohammed Dawud, the Director for Communication of the Convention People’s Party in Ghana. Their website is http://conventionpeoplesparty.org/.

 

 

 

Question: How do you view the present political situation in Ghana under President Nana Akufo-Addo?

 

Answer: The Nana Akufu-Addo Government is trying to change the history of Ghana by associating some of his family members who are part of the big 6 to the foundership of Ghana. Ghana was founder by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the Leader of the CPP and the First and Founding President of Ghana. Nana Akufo-Addo like the former NDC leader are all puppets of the IMF, World Bank and other imperialist organisation.

 

Question: What is your opinion on the role of National Democratic Congress, the main opposition party?

 

Answer: The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is just like the ruling NPP. They are all anti-socialism in practice, anti communism and anti-Marxism. They only preach Social Democracy just to help them to collapse the CPP that is the true mass and revolutionary party in Ghana. They helped the NPP to suppress the CPP. They sold all the State Own Enterprises (SOE) when they adopted the IMF Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in 1989-1996.

 

Question: How do you view the state of the trade union movement?

 

Answer: The Trade Union is the natural ally of the CPP in Ghana. It was formed at the time that the CPP Government was in power. They are a vibrant group that help to keep the government on it toes.

 

Question: How do you assess the class character of Ghana’s capitalism? Do you see it as a semi-colonial country dependent on imperialism?

 

Answer: The struggle is a huge. It’s about control of resources and control of the masses.

 

Question: Which Great Powers exert substantial influence in Ghana?

 

Answer: The IMF, World Bank and the UN.

 

Question: What you believe will be the main issues in the political developments in Ghana in the near future?

 

Answer: The issue of nationalisation of our resources.

 

Question: What are the main demands of your party in the current situation?

 

Answer: We demand for the nationalisation of our natural resources, we demand for the scarp of neoliberal and neocolonial policies in Ghana. We demand for the full implemention of Nkrumahist ideas, Socialist Ideas and communist ideals.

 

Question: Which kind of political and economic system is the CPP fighting for?

 

Answer: We are fighting for the establishment of socialist state

 

Question: Can you say a few words about the history of your organization?

 

Answer: The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) had been formed in 1947 with the goal of bringing about independence for Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah thought the UGCC’s opposition to the colonial rulers lacked the necessary vehemence and urgency; he wanted immediate independence. Breaking from the UGCC on these grounds, he founded the Convention People’s Party (CPP) with the motto “self-government now”.

 

On 9 January 1950 the CPP called for countrywide boycotts and strikes. In the course of these, two policemen were shot dead, and the CPP leadership was arrested and imprisoned. This only increased Nkrumah’s popularity. When general elections were held in 1951, the CPP won decisively despite the imprisonment of Dr. Nkrumah and other party leaders. Nkrumah was subsequently released to form the colony’s first African government.

 

Our History

 

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah broke away from the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) to form his Convention People’s Party (CPP) in 1949. Nkrumah guided by his Pan-Africanist ideology felt he could not do business with the UGCC because of their measured, gradual, and somewhat tardy, approach to self-rule. The Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) was therefore formed in 1949 during the struggle for independence and it was the first party to rule Ghana after independence.

 

The CPP started as a vehicle of emancipation of the nation and the whole of Africa. It sees itself as a mass party that embraces farmers, fishermen, the rural folks, the rich and the poor alike. The CPP led by its illustrious leader, great Pan-Africanist and visionary Nkrumah turned to the masses that are the up and coming young men/women in the cities, but mainly marginalized by the attitude,

 

Our Ideaology – Nkrumaism

 

The Nkrumaism is the ideological principle underpinning Nkrumaist political parties, namely CPP, PNC etc. There are three main principles guiding Nkrumaism:

 

Self-determination: We must abandon our colonial mentality and inferiority complex and re-assert control over our natural resources and national interests for the sustainable and equitable development of our country.

 

Social Justice: The State has a moral and constitutional duty to promote equal opportunity and equitable rewards for all Ghanaians, irrespective of age, gender, ethnic, religious, political or other backgrounds, and

 

Pan-Africanism: We must work with Africans at home and abroad to find common solutions to our common problems of racism, poverty, exploitation and under-development.

 

For more information please visit: Centre for policy studies on Nkrumaism.

 

Thank you for the interview!

 

 

 

  • Russia’s Air Force supports Daesh against Syrian Liberation Fighters https://t.co/CEg26bhCS44 hours ago
  • Revolutionärer Kommunismus Nr.22 (Oktober 2016) Sondernummer: Griechenland
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngSankara’s Legacy: 30 Years on, Africa still needs More Upright Men!!!

By Mainda Simataa, General Secretary of the Economic Liberation Association (Zambia), 2017-10-16, www.elazambia.org

 

 

 

 

The Revolutionary trailblazer:

 

Few African leaders, especially those with a military background, have ever truly lived and died for the cause of economically and socially improving the lot of the poor and oppressed masses as Sankara did; not only in word, but in deed…and even in death!

 

Sankara loved and devoted his heart and soul to the people. He was a rare combination of an intelligent and charismatic military man imbued with a revolutionary political and ideological consciousness. He used the gun, but to one end alone – to bring social and economic justice, peace and prosperity to a country ravaged, corrupted and mercilessly plundered by henchmen of its former colonizer – France. Sankara overthrew and the black puppet regime in a bloodless coup in 1983.

 

Five years later, on the 15th of October 1987, Thomas Sankara, President and militant revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, was himself overthrown and assassinated in a bloody coup instigated and sponsored by the French imperialist regime which used the traitor Blaise Compaore, (once Sankara’s own comrade in arms in the military) as a pawn in their never ending scheme to re-dominate and continue the exploitation of that nation’s resources…and they did so, and still do so today.

 

But the legacy and revolutionary ideals Sankara left, can never be erased! 27 years later, Compaore the traitor was to be overthrown and sent into exile by Sankara’s idea’s which had brewed and exploded in the post Sankara young generation of the Burkinabe people!

 

What Made Sankara Special to the Burkinabe and Africans at Large?

 

Sankara’s very first act when he took over from the local pro-French puppet regime was to change the countries’ name from French Upper-Volta, to Burkina Faso – which literally means Land of Upright Man!

 

The agenda behind the name change was a game-changer! It had the following objectives: first, to declare full autonomy and independence of the Burkinabe from the French; and second, to rid the nation of all the corrupt elements and acts of the nations’ pro-capitalist class: among them Feudal  land Lords who exploited peasants, the Chiefs who demanded tributes from the poor, the comprado bourgeoisie, the intellectual upper and middle class Africans who maintained, oiled and benefited from the French corporations and institutions that exploited the nations’ natural and human resources.

 

Radical 360 Degree Shift in Policies

 

Upon seizing political power, Sankara immediately set out to implement the boldest and most radical social and economic changes ever attempted on the African continent in the shortest period of time:

 

  1. Cancelled all IMF/foreign loans, denounced foreign aid and pushed for debt reduction!
  2. Nationalized all Land and mineral resources!
  3. Embarked on agriculture reforms for self-sustenance and food security!
  4. Introduced massive literacy and healthcare programs for all!
  5. Cancelled all oppressive and unnecessary taxes!
  6. Doubled wheat (staple food) production by expropriating and re-distributing land from feudal landlords to the peasant farmers!
  7. Encouraged the people to build schools, hospitals, roads and railroads with their own labour!
  8. Promoted women’s’ rights; banning genital mutilation, forced marriages, polygamy, and encouraging women to learn and work!
  9. Pushed for Pan-Africanism and true economic liberation!
  10. Denounced the scourge of imperialism and neo-colonialism in underdeveloped countries!

 

Sankara Shining Legacy

 

Having done so much in so little time, Sankara’s legacy spread far and wide, with world leading revolutionaries like Fidel Castro of Cuba honouring him in life and in death. Many consider Sankara the most outstanding African revolutionary leader to ever set stage on the African continent, having never used his position as national leader and military commander leader to oppress, but rather to liberate. Never did he look for his own material benefit, but rather, he looked out for the material good and well-being of the nation.

 

Dead but Never Gone nor forgotten

 

Sankara is Africa’s own revolutionary martyr, joining the ranks of Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba and many other revolutionaries who have died for the cause of liberation and economic and social justice for the people. Sankara’s popularity and influence on modern revolutionaries continues to inspire confidence and even rebellion against oppressive regimes the continent over. His Ghost lives on!

 

Sankara, the Upright Man

 

In the final analysis, Sankara was and still is the quintessential upright man he set his nation out to be, having practiced what he preached, living for the people, taking nothing from them, but giving everything he had, including his own life in the end.

 

Sankara has thus laid down the path for modern African freedom fighters to follow and emulate, and he set the bar so high. The best that all African freedom fighters can do, is to try and fulfill the cause he lived for, and as we do so, to try and be Upright men – free of compromise, corruption and self-seeking motives. We must stand tall, stand together, and stand strong in the face of all adversity and hardships! Victory will be ours! Africa needs more Upright Men!

 

Long Live Sankara!

 

Long Live the African Revolution!

 

Aluta Continua!

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngJoint Statement: Solidarity with the Mass Protests against the Gnassingbé Regime in Togo!

Joint Statement of ELA (Zambia), IAAEE (Sierra Leone), MSP (Sierra Leone), PACOR (Nigeria), PAM (Kenya) and RCIT, 12 October 2017

 

 

 

We, the undersigned organisations, express our solidarity with the popular protests against the Gnassingbé regime in Togo.

 

We condemn this government for its role in helping imperialist corporations to exploit the country’s valuable phosphate deposits as well as its agricultural products.

 

Likewise we denounce the Gnassingbé regime for its role in regional pro-imperialist political institutions like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS serves the Great Powers not only as an economic institution but also by providing troops for imperialist interventions (e.g., in Mali in 2013).

 

The Gnassingbé regime is part of the numerous dictatorships and pseudo-democracies which are ruling the peoples of Africa in the service of the imperialist Great Powers and their monopolies (like France, Britain, US, and China). It is via such regimes that the imperialists are able to economically suck dry the African workers and poor peasants under the cover of political (pseudo-)independence. There is no real political independence without economic freedom!

 

We send our warmest greetings to the proud people of Togo who demonstrate since many weeks for democracy and freedom!

 

We warn against the political games of the opposition leader Tikpi Atchadam and his pro-capitalist PNP. Atchadam wants to limit the protests to small constitutional reforms instead of supporting an authentic popular movement for the overthrow of the regime.

 

In our opinion freedom and equality can only be secured if the workers, poor peasants and youth combine the toppling of the reactionary regime with the expulsion of the imperialist monopolies and the Great Powers and the expropriation of the ruling capitalist class. Only thus will they be able to create their own government which can open the road towards socialism.

 

* Solidarity with the Togolese masses!

 

* Down with the neo-colonial regimes of Gnassigbe!

 

* No political independence without economic freedom!

 

* For a workers’ and poor peasants’ government!

 

* Long Live the Revolution! Aluta Continua!

 

 

 

Undersigned Organisations (in alphabetic order):

 

Economic Liberation Association (Zambia), http://www.elazambia.org

 

International African Alliance for Economic Emancipation (Sierra Leone)

 

Movement for Social Progress (Sierra Leone)

 

Pan African Consciousness Renaissance (Lagos, Nigeria), https://m.facebook.com/pacrenaissance/?ref=bookmarks

 

Pan African Movement – Kenyan Chapter

 

Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, México, Venezuela, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Germany, Britain and Austria), www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngOn the Kurdish Referendum in Iraq

By Yossi Schwartz (The Internationalist Socialist League – Israel / Occupied Palestine), 13.10.2017, http://the-isleague.com/

 

 

 

Between 25 and 35 million Kurds live in the mountainous region on the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They are the fourth-largest national group in the Middle East, but they have never been able to form a permanent nation state.

 

In Iraq alone about 5 million Kurds live; and they dream of an independent state. As an oppressed nation they have the right to self determination, but under their reactionary leadership they will never be able to secure authentic independence because not only Iraq, Iran and Turkey oppose it, but so does US imperialism.

 

The Kurdish region has been occupied by many nations: Ancient Persia, Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs in the 7th Century, Seljuk Turks in the 11th, Mongols in the 13th Century, Turkey in the 16th Century and most recently, the United States in its 2003 invasion of Iraq. After WWI, following The War, British and French imperialists promised a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres. However, imperialists, as usual, ignore their promises.

 

 

 

The Kurds after World War II

 

 

 

During WWII the Soviet Stalinists helped to establish a republic in Northern Iran – the Republic of Mahabad. However, in spite of a declaration of Azi Muhammad, the chairman of the republic; that his party the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) was not a communist party, the US imperialists sided with Iran that crushed the fledgling republic.

 

On December 15th, 1946, Iranian forces captured Mahabad. Iran closed down the Kurdish printing press, banned the teaching of the Kurdish language and burned Kurdish books. On March 31, 1947, Azi Muhammad was hanged in Mahabad on counts of treason. The leadership of the KDP passed to Mustafa of the Barzani tribe that lives mostly in Iraq.

 

In October 1958, Mustafa Barzani returned to Northern Iraq, and began to struggle for an autonomous Kurdish region. The first major uprising under Barzani was in 1931, and it failed. The next revolt was led by Ahmed Barzani’s younger brother Mustafa Barzani in 1943, but it also failed and Barazani was exiled to Iran, where he participated in an attempt to form the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad.

 

In 1958, Mustafa Barzani returned to Iraq and he attempted to negotiate a Kurdish autonomy in the north of Iraq with General Qasim, Because of this negotiation, army officers among them Abed as-Salām ʿĀrif led a coup in February 1963, which overthrew the government and killed Qāsim himself.

 

A Kurdish Autonomy agreement was reached in March 1970 by the Iraqi government and the Kurds. However, this autonomy was crushed in a new war between the Kurds led by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Iraqi army in 1975. The PUK was led by Jalal Talabani’s while Massoud Barzani’s was the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party. These two parties were rivals and the conflict between them led to a civil war in 1994.

 

Iran supported the KDP against the PUK, while Talabani formed an alliance with Iran, against the KDP, Massoud Barzani made a pact with Saddam Hussein. The latter sent the Iraqi Republican Guard and attacked the PUK-held city of Erbil, which was captured by the Iraqi army with KDP forces. Iraqi troops executed 700 captured fighters of the PUK.

 

Talabani retreated to Iran, where he formed an alliance with the PKK against the KDP which was backed by Turkey. In September 1998, Barzani and Talabani signed the U.S.-mediated Agreement that established a formal peace treaty among the two parties, The US promised to defend the Kurdish autonomy against Saddam Hussein. The US however, never saw the Kurds as a partner, but as something to be used and thrown away, despite any promises to the contrary.

 

 

 

Israel and the Iraqi-Kurdish Leadership – an Alliance of Reactionaries

 

 

 

Israel has been a player and has a long history of support for the reactionary factions in the leadership of the Iraqi Kurds, especially the ones that rely on the imperialist states with a vain hope that they will help the Kurds gain independence.

 

The initial success of the Iraqi Kurds in the struggle against the Baghdad regime attracted the attention of the Israeli special services which regarded them as efficient allies in their struggle against Syria and Iraq, Israel’s most consistent adversaries in the region. That is why by the end of 1950s, with respect to the Kurdish minorities in Arab states, Israel pursued the policy later referred to as the “peripheral strategy.” (1)

 

By the end of 1950s and in the early 1960s Israel became the principal source of weapons, supplies and training for the Kurds in their struggle against the government. By various estimates, thousands of Mossad agents and instructors of the Israeli army resided in the Kurdish-populated regions of Iraq at the time and conducted undercover operations.

 

Various arms supplies for the Iraqi Kurds actively continued in 1965-1975. The Parastin, the intelligence service of the Kurdish Democratic Party, was also established with Mossad’s support in the late 1960s. The operations conducted by the Israeli intelligence agency in Northern Iraq were of particular significance for Israel because the Iraqi Kurds were being pounded not only by the Iraqi troops, but also by the regular army of Syria, another Arab state ruled by the Baath party. (2)

 

According to a former senior Mossad official, Eliezer Tsafrir, Israel had military advisers at the headquarters of Mulla Mustafa Barzani in 1963-1975, trained and supplied the Kurdish units with firearms, field and anti-aircraft artillery. The US also participated in this campaign. Israel spent tens of millions of dollars on the support for the Kurds, supplying them via Iran, which pursued its own goals in Iraq and had close ties with Israel up until 1979. (3)

 

In the mid 1960s and 70s, Israel cooperated with Iran, then a U.S. ally under the Shah, to fight against its Arab enemies – Iraq, Syria and Egypt. As part of the cooperation the Mossad sent Lt. Colonel Tzuri Sagi to develop plans for and build up a Kurdish army to fight Iraqi troops in northern Iraq. Tzuri Sagi was also responsible for the Israeli assassination attempts against Saddam Hussein. His Kurdish cooperation partner was the leader of the Barzani clan, Mullah Mustafa Barzani. The Kurdish army the Israelis created is now known as Peshmerga. The son of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Masoud Barzani, is now the president of the Kurdish region of Iraq.

 

New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi reported from the ground in her twitter:

 

“A common refrain I hear is that the Iraqi army ran when ISIS overran Mosul, whereas the Kurds stood their ground. Sadly that’s not true. One of the areas that was under the control of Kurdish troops was Mt Sinjar, home to a large share of the 500,000 Yazidis living in Iraq. According to the dozens of interviews I’ve done with Yazidi survivors of ISIS’ ensuing genocide, Kurdish troops cut and ran when ISIS came. Adding insult to injury, say community leaders, Kurdish troops disarmed Yazidis. And did not warn them of ISIS’ advance. The result: Thousands of Yazidi women were kidnapped by ISIS and systematically raped. Many I spoke to partially blamed Kurdish troops for their fate.”

 

Callimachi further reports that Kurdish troops prevented Yezidis from returning to their homes, meaning that their lands have been unilaterally annexed. The Kurds also occupy land and villages that belong to Assyrian Christians, already mentioned in the bible.

 

Another hot spot is Kirkuk. The oil rich city is an original Turkmen and Arab area. The Kurdish militias snatched it in 2014 while the Islamic State marched on to Baghdad. They now want to annex it. The Iraqi state is naturally vehemently against this and is now sending its army to the area. The Turkish government, which sees itself as the defender of all Turkmen, also threatens to intervene.

 

 

 

US Empty Promises

 

 

 

After Iraq’s defeat in Kuwait, Shi’as in Southern Iraq started a popular uprising against the Baghdad regime. The Kurds in the North joined them. Within two weeks, Saddam Hussein lost 15 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. However, once it was clear that the U.S. will not support the rebellion, Saddam’s forces crushed the revolt. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled into the mountains.

 

US President Bush, who encouraged the Kurds to rise up against the Baathist government in 1991, refused to arm the Kurds in the fight against the Iraqi army that was using aircraft to attack the Kurds.

 

[…] I do not want one single soldier or airman shoved into a civil war in Iraq that’s been going on for ages,” he was quoted by The New York Times on April 13, 1991. “And I’m not going to have that.”(4) Only after the rebellion was crushed did the US initiate ‘Operation Provide Comfort’ to aid the Kurd civilians running for their lives.

 

Kurdish militiamen in Iraq have been key American allies fighting the Islamic State alongside the Iraqi government’s troops. However, once Mosul was captured, the US-puppet Iraqi government refused to allow the Kurds to control the city.

 

Thus, at the end of September 2017, people living in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence for the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. The electoral commission said 92% of the 3.3 million Kurds and non-Kurds who cast their ballots supported secession. The announcement was made despite a last-minute appeal for the results to be voided by Iraq’s prime minister. Haider al-Abadi urged Kurds to instead engage in dialogue with Baghdad “in the framework of the constitution“.

 

Kurdish leaders say the “Yes” vote will give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the central government in Baghdad and neighboring countries. (5)

 

The flag-waving, including of the Zionist one, in Kurdish rallies across Iraq’s semi autonomous Kurdish enclave, is jubilant. However, the leadership’s conviction that the referendum must lead to independence seems misplaced. Every major player in the region opposes it, placing the Kurds on a collision course with neighbors and allies alike, including the United States.

 

The latter warns that this could ignite armed conflict with the central government in Baghdad and unleash ethnic fighting in a part of the world still roiled by the battle against Islamic State. The United Nations has also appealed for dialogue, saying it will not be “engaged in any way or form” in the referendum.

 

Two of Iraq’s neighbors, Turkey and Iran, concerned that the referendum could fan the flames of secessionist aspirations among their own Kurdish minorities, have stated that they are considering countermeasures. Turkey is carrying out military drills near northern Iraq, and Iran has threatened to close its border with the landlocked Kurdish enclave. (6)

 

In Israel the Jews of Kurdish origin celebrated the outcome of the referendum and Prime Minster Nethnayhou issued, on September 13th, a statement of support, only to then bar Israeli government comments on the Kurdish independence referendum, as it apparently irked Turkey.

 

Asked to comment on the referendum, one Israeli cabinet minister declined, telling Reuters on condition of anonymity: “Bibi (Netanyahu) asked us not to.” A second Israeli official confirmed the order, saying the subject was “too sensitive“. (7)

 

 

 

The Only Solution

 

 

 

While the Kurds have the right to establish a free independent Kurdistan in the areas they have a majority in, they do not have a chance of winning independence within the existing political framework. Their capitalist leadership has provided bloody proof for this during decades.

 

The only way they will be able to win their national freedom is in the framework of the Arab revolution that will begin again under revolutionary democratic demands. Such a revolution must lead to a workers’ revolution, that will establish the socialist federation of the Middle East, along with a free red Palestine.

 

The Kurdish leadership’s politics that relies on the US and Israel is a sure recipe for a failure. Furthermore, under pressure there is a good chance that Barzani will cave in. Baghdad announced that Turkey – an indispensable trade partner to the Kurdish oil – will now only deal with Iraq’s central government on oil sales. That could deprive the Kurdish region of more than 80% of its income.

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) The Israeli-Kurdish Relations. Sergey Minasian. Published in “21-st Century”, No1, April 2007

 

(2) Ibid.

 

(3) Ibid

 

(4) http://www.rudaw.net/mobile/english/opinion/03092017

 

(5) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41419633

 

(6) http://tinyurl.com/y8y6cbds

 

(7) http://tinyurl.com/yddy3lee

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngKenya: Active Boycott of the Election – Prepare for the Uprising!

Organize Mass Demonstrations and a General Strike! Build Action Committees and Self-Defence Units in Work Places, Neighbourhoods, Schools and Villages!

 

Joint Statement of the Pan African Movement – Kenyan Chapter, the Economic Liberation Association (Zambia) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 11.10.2017

 

 

 

  1. Raila Odinga, leader and presidential candidate of Kenya’s main opposition force, the National Super Alliance (NASA), has withdrawn his participation in the presidential election re-run ordered by the country’s Supreme Court. He gave as reasons for his withdrawal the lack of electoral reforms like the replacement of suppliers of equipment used to transmit election results and the replacement of electoral officials the opposition claimed were complicit in electoral fraud.

 

  1. Odingas’ reasons for withdrawal are more than justified. There can be not the slightest doubt that the reactionary and pro-imperialist regime of President Uhuru Kenyatta is trying to hold power by any means necessary. It organized massive fraud in the last election, hold on 8 August, which was later annulled by the Supreme Court, and will try the same in any future election. Furthermore, the regime intensified the repression against democratic activists and oppositional politicians (e.g. the arrest of Babu Owino) in the past weeks. It even went so far to close the University of Nairobi, Kenya’s largest and oldest university, on 3 October after massive protests of students.

 

  1. There are talks amongst oppositionial forces about a boycott of the election. However, there exists a serious danger that Odinga and the leadership of the National Super Alliance is mainly interested in some political manoeuvres instead of seriously challenging the Kenyatta regime. The opposition’s leadership is a bourgeois force which has no interest in removing the fundamental illnesses of the country – the super-exploitation by imperialist powers (US, EU and China) and the oppression by a thoroughly corrupt and repressive state apparatus wedded with the ruling capitalist class.

 

  1. It is useless to hope for some serious reforms by the existing regime. It is urgent that all consistent democrats and socialists unite in order to organize an active boycott of the election. We call for the creation of action committees in work places, neighbourhoods, schools and villages to organize the resistance! Only such mass organs of self-organization will allow the people not to become the passive instrument of politicians’ manoeuvres. It is important to start now with mobilising for mass demonstrations and a general strike against the electoral fraud! Likewise we propose to organize self-defence units so that the people can defend themselves against the police thugs.

 

  1. Real change will not come via elections. It will only be the result of a popular uprising against the regime which will open the road to a socialist revolution. We repeat that the only solution for Kenya’s and Africa’s burden of exploitation and oppression is the expulsion of all great powers, the expropriation of the big corporations and the super-rich elite as well as the abolition of capitalism.

 

  1. We call all activists who share such an outlook to unite in building a revolutionary party in Kenya and international! Join us in this struggle!

 

Long live a free and socialist Kenya! Long live the United Socialist States of Africa!

 

 

 

Pan African Movement – Kenyan Chapter

 

Economic Liberation Association (Zambia), http://www.elazambia.org

 

Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, México, Venezuela, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Germany, Britain and Austria), www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

We refer readers also to the following document:

 

Kenya: Stop the Repression against Students! For mass protests on the streets in defense of democratic rights! Joint Statement of the Pan African Movement – Kenyan Chapter, the Economic Liberation Association (Zambia) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 04.10.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/stop-repression-against-students-in-kenya/

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment